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Saturday 11 April 2015

Most gay men now meet partners online

Posted in: International News
By Daily News staff - 10th April 2015

Australian research has found far more gay men are now finding long-term partners online, via apps and dating websites.

It found that 80 per cent of gay men it surveyed last year had met their boyfriends online, compared with just 14 per cent in 2001.

The study, published in the AIDS and Behaviour, found during the same time period, men who met partners at bars, sex-on-premises venues and through friends dropped dramatically.

Researchers say the results suggest that the use of online dating to meet sexual and romantic partners has largely displaced other methods of meeting partners.

“In the past, men who used the internet to meet partners might have been described as a particular type - and usually this was associated with 'risky' behaviour,” says the Kirby Institute’s Associate Professor Garrett Prestage, chief investigator on the study.

“Nowadays they are really just any sexually active gay man, and hence, yes of course they are riskier than men who are not using the net -which includes men who are generally not sexually active.

“Use of the internet to meet partners is so ubiquitous among gay men that claims of it being superficial make little sense. These days most men meet their long term partners on the net; not just one-off sexual contacts.”

The researchers say that while online dating apps tend to be associated with younger people, results from this study suggest that older men were more likely to have met their primary regular partner online.

The overwhelming majority of men surveyed, regardless of age, had met their current partner online, particularly in recent years.

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